Lost track of my milage, again. Trust me that it was short, and slow. Highway 61 crept past, until finally I got off at Palmyra. The traffic in Hannibal was horrible, and I had to walk through the worst of it on sidewalks, but I made it across the bridge eventually. Historical downtown Hannibal is located well away from the choatic strip, and looked lovely, but I'll get back to that tomorrow. For now I'm heading back into Illinois and the John Hay public use area.
Until I reached the spot, I wasn't sure if camping was actually allowed. I can't remember from what source I heard a positive, but the corps of engineers website makes no mention of camping. There -is- camping, though, and it appears to be free. There is a porta-potty and some picnic tables, but no potable water or permanent fire-rings/grills.
All that can be quickly forgiven, though. The camping area is right on the river, sandy and shaded, directly across the river from downtown Hannibal. Barges pass, dinnerboats parade up and down the river, faint music can be heard from the city, and at night there was a brief flurry of fireworks. The recent floods deposited ample driftwood on the beach - better burning then the downed wood back in the trees. The evening was passably cool, even. Comfortable enough for a cook-fire, so I ate better than usual. Shell pasta with hot & spicey flavored tuna, mmm.